Rainbows get it together right on time
WHO else thought the Rainbows might get run out last night? Who else was starting to have some creeping doubts?
Come on, raise your hand. No shame. It was easy to see this thing not quite clicking -- a few times, this season -- and start to wonder just how exactly this year was going to go.
Hawaii has been missing a certain something, this season. And then, last night, it was there.
Right on time.
Last night these guys had the kind of chemistry they'd told us about in October. Matt Gibson was Matt Gibson again, last night (nine points, seven rebounds, five assists, one bandage). Last night Matt Lojeski was the player we'd expected. Ahmet Gueye and his knee both came ready to play. Gueye was special again.
Bobby Nash was a glue guy, when going scoreless in the first half, a gunner in the second.
At last there was a complete picture, not just pieces that didn't quite fit the way we thought they might.
Yes, just when we started to wonder, they gave us a game like this. Here comes Hawaii, it seems. Right on time.
It looks like these guys just might be coming together after all.
The 'Bows rolled early, got second chances, thirds. P.J. Owsley dunked at the end of a strange play.
Stephen Verwers had been in there for about 30 seconds before he had a career high -- in everything.
Holy cow, this changes everything, if Verwers can play like this.
It was never really close. Hawaii was rolling from the opening tip.
And it was loud, last night. Even Dave Shoji, sitting in the end-zone VIP seats, waved his arms during a Husker free-throw attempt.
It was a heck of a night. It was the feel-good confidence builder of the holiday season. Just when we start to wonder, they give us a game like this.
Did officiating have something to do with it? Well, of course it did. But when you play the way Hawaii did, last night, you get calls.
And then Doc Sadler, Nebraska's new coach -- he's come in here before, played Riley Wallace teams before -- got T'd up. And then again. Gone. It was almost like that old famous Fabulous Five game. He got Hugh Durham'd. He got Norman Dale'd.
And then seconds into the second half Nebraska's best player, Enormous Aleks Maric was down, then out.
No, Nebraska was not expected to take the Big 12 -- or even its own state -- by storm, this season. But the Huskers had done better than most anyone thought, had dispatched Wyoming with ease. Had even beaten Creighton, their in-state rival, earlier this year.
You know, that team in the final from the bracket's other side.
Now here comes Creighton, tonight, and Creighton is doing a similar thing. Coming together after a head-scratching start. Finding itself. Never fear. Right on time.
And Sports Illustrated had said Creighton would be in the Sweet 16.
Once again, you would have to say this might not look good for the Rainbows. Then again, if last night showed us anything, it's that we've been wrong before, right on time.